Resurrection…signs of life in the twelve string project bass…

At the end of July/beginning of August, a donated project bass arrived home with me from work one day. It was a pretty beat up Dean 12 string bass. There were some significant scuffs on it, the pickups were missing, and I was told the truss rod was shot.

That’s a promising start, right? LOL…

Truth be told, I always wondered how these Dean 12 string basses would fare with different pickups than the stock EMG HZs. I just didn’t want to spend $500-ish (used) to $900-ish (new) to find out. So, despite the very rough start…I was actually looking forward to trying out some ideas on this, even if that meant figuring out how to fix a damaged neck.

So, before I did anything, I strung up the gutted body, tuned it, and found the neck would adjust and hold a shape. I left the bass sitting in my guitar rack for about a month, occasionally tweaking the truss rods to test them. Surprisingly, the truss rod was NOT blown. Just really…well, for lack of a better word… really, really stuck. I got the truss rod moving again and all was well. I truly lucked out on that one. The bass needed a neck shim, but that is really typical for this model, and especially in the case of an older bass.

For about a month, I would pull the bass off the rack occasionally, and improv on it, evaluating the action. It was already connecting with me, despite it’s many issues. “Acoustically”, so to speak, it already had a great sound and it was fun to play.

So, once the neck checked out with a clean bill of health, it was time to order pickups, new strings and start moving forward. Fast forward through installing a new preamp, a neck shim, new EMG 40DC pickups, the new strings…and here’s where it’s at now.

About 15 minutes after shooting the first video, I upgraded the system to 18V with a treble bleed cap on the volume pot. Here’s a video post the completion of that mod…

In a few days I’ll try this one out side by side with a Dean 12 string that is all stock to see how the beater 12 compares with it’s mods. This is definitely not where this project bass is stopping, this is just a first step in the right direction. Stay tuned…

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